‘Fighting’ at Pasadena City Hall: Villa Parke Boxing Event Takes Over Centennial Square

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Story by TMERA HEPBURN | Photography courtesy HORACE WORMLEY

3:21 am | August 30, 2016


Boxers of all ages and levels came together to spar in a special ring set up in front of Pasadena City Hall last Friday night, hosted by the Villa Parke Community Center.

A crowds gathered in perfect weather to watch amateur boxers of different age divisions, including a 55 and older division, step into the ring at the free Centennial Square Boxing Show. Villa Parke hosts an annual boxing event each year, but this was the first time matches have been held at the historic City Hall.

“They compete in what we call Olympic style matches,” said Pasadena Human Services and Recreation Director Horace Wormley. “The institution came up with the idea of bring boxing to City Hall, we just got the permit to do it.”

Wormley said they set up around 200 chairs, the majority of which were occupied by the end of the night with many people standing.

“The turnout was awesome,” Wormley said. “The crowd loved it, every person I talked to really enjoyed it.”

Every month, the Villa Parke Community Center provides classes and recreational opportunities to nearly 1,800 people, and consistently  one of the most popular attractions is the boxing program.

Fausto De La Torre, the program’s boxing instructor, began his own boxing career at age 8 and has since competed in more than 200 matches. Now he devotes his time teaching others and has trained hundreds of young Olympic and professional hopefuls over the past two decades.

“Youngsters can learn a great deal from boxing and apply it to the real world,” De La Torre said in a statement to the media.“Traits like discipline, commitment and the desire to be great can stem from the work one puts in the ring.”

“Fausto is a very compassionate instructor,” Wormley said. “He’s just an awesome person to have on board. The boxing program gives kids the option of doing other things than just hanging out and doing negative stuff.”

Torre said many kids start out in his class with low self esteem, but he helps them get past that and into the mindset of becoming an Olympian.

“That’s what we’re building here, the aspiration for the Olympic dream,” Torre said.